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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday -- The Journey of Natty Gann

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October 17, 2008

Movie Review Friday -- The Journey of Natty Gann

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Friday selections. Each week we review a film with environmentally or socially-responsible themes that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD.

Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 words or less and look for your review in the next Movie Friday!

The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
Available on DVD

This kid-friendly adventure is an easy "in" for family discussions about forest conservation, the precarious status of endangered wolves, and social issues such as workers' rights and green jobs. Natty Gann (Meredith Salenger), a scrappy tomboy in Depression-era Chicago, undertakes an exhausting quest to reunite with her father, a former union leader forced to abandon Natty in search of work as a lumberjack in Washington State.

Natty navigates shanty towns, freight trains, and underground dog-fighting clubs, as well as the forests and mountains of the West. Luckily (this is a Disney movie, after all) Natty rescues a wolf and befriends another young hobo, Harry (John Cusack), both of whom protect and shepherd her along the way. A movie like this could easily take on a Pollyanaish tone, but Natty's buoyant tenacity is anchored by street smarts forged in civilization's failures.

--Review by Della Watson


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